Man Up: What Does It Really Mean? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Man Up: What Does It Really Mean?

Life&Style writer Sophie Webb investigates men's mental health and why it's no laughing matter

One in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition at some point in our lives. However, despite this scary high percentage, there is still a huge, unnecessary stigma surrounding mental health. Many individuals and organisations are campaigning to raise awareness in an attempt to combat this stigma but it still remains a huge problem.

Many sufferers have spoken out about how they feel prevented from seeking help due to this stigma, fearing how people will react, and recent research has shown that this affects men in particular, with many male sufferers refusing to talk about and even acknowledge how they are feeling because they feel ashamed and embarrassed.

In another Daily Mail article, fans were quoted being very vocal in their criticism of the tears with one fan of the show bluntly telling them to ‘stop crying and man up!’
The Daily Mail have recently been criticised by many readers for publishing an article which mocked the male celebrities in this year’s series of ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. The article was entitled ‘Sniff sniff! Why are so many grown men blubbing like babies in Celebrity jungle?’ The article complains that ‘the traditional gender stereotype no longer applies’, and implies that by shedding a tear, the men could no longer ‘be relied upon to maintain a stiff-upper lip’. Instead of praising the men for being so open and unashamed about their feelings, the Daily Mail scathingly commented ‘maybe they should toughen up like Carol [Vorderman]’ who along with other female contestants Sam Quek and Ola Jordan, reportedly ‘show[ed] up the men’.

However, the media aren’t the only ones to blame. In another Daily Mail article, fans were quoted being very vocal in their criticism of the tears with one fan of the show bluntly telling them to ‘stop crying and man up!’

These reactions are exactly those which many people are campaigning to change. The idea that men shouldn’t show their feelings and that it is unmanly and weak to do so.

While the tears in the jungle appear to be just that, tears, and nothing more sinister, changing the perceptions that have been shown in articles such as the two discussed is a fundamental part in changing attitudes for when things do get more serious.

Kanye West has also had a high-profile in the media recently due to his alleged mental breakdown and subsequent hospitalization. After two onstage rants and cancelled tour dates, West was admitted to hospital ‘for his own safety’ following an emergency services call according to BBC news. While multiple friends and celebrities have spoken up in support, there has not been a great deal of concern from the public.

In a post on ‘The Mighty’, a mental health organisation, one of the contributors commented in West’s defence:

‘When Kanye cancelled his entire tour after having another outburst on stage, people were angry but not many were asking “Is he OK?” … Since the psych evaluation has been reported I haven’t seen much concern. What I do see is a lot of laughter and mocking going on. Some people have said, “Must be the Kardashian curse.” Others have said, “He’s just trying to get attention, that’s what he gets for being an asshole.” No matter how you may feel about Kanye, mental health issues are very real.’

An article on the Mirror online suggested just how much of an effect social media can have on mental health as it is reported that ‘Kanye's doctor has banned him from having a phone or computer whilst he remains in hospital’.

People should be more careful and think before they post comments online and, in general, react to things which on the surface may appear to be trivial (such as celebrities crying in the jungle) but really can lead to serious stigma.


8th December 2016 at 10:10 am

Last Updated

8th December 2016 at 10:13 am